Baofeng UV-5R Programming Cable
Niras C V / VU3CNS
Baofeng UV-5R is a low cost micro-miniature VHF/UHF amateur radio transceiver with 4W output power. The transceiver has 128 user programmable memory channels. But programming will be a painful task if its own keypad is used. These memory channels can be set in the "name display" mode, where user settable names can be displayed instead of frequency or channel number. Note that, these names can be set using PC software only, so a programming cable is a must.
Baofeng UV-5R uses RS232 to communicate or programming with the PC software. Since the radio interface is 3.3V, a level translator from RS232 level is required. The USB programming cables may available from different vendors, which consist of a USB to serial convertor chip, and the driver software to emulate a serial port in your PC. But if your PC has a serial port (COM port), you can make your own programming cable with a few components. The programming software can be download from different sites .
Figure 2 shows a simple schematic of RS232 level converter using two transistors and few other components. The 3.5mm speaker Jack and 2.5mm mic jack are used for connecting PC to the radio. After connecting the transceiver to the PC, switch on the radio and run the programming software. Since we are using COM port for programming, it is not necessary to install any driver software, just select COM port name in the software. You can program all channel with RX/TX frequencies, TX power, channel name etc.